COVID-19 and Methodist Homes

Below you will find our latest information for residents, families and associates, along with PDF links to current resources from the CDC that are being distributed in our communities concerning COVID-19. Should you need additional information, feel free to contact the Methodist Home Community of concern directly, or call 205-951-2442 for the Mission Support Services office. For additional information, please continue to visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page.

 

July 1, 2020

Dear Residents, Family Members and Associates:

ALABAMA CARE COMMUNITIES

(Fair Haven, Wesley Gardens & Wesley Place on Honeysuckle)

Understandably, many questions continue to arise as we navigate these days as a community. First and foremost, the safety and welfare of everyone in a Methodist Home is our highest priority, and each of our decisions as an organization are rooted in that foundational principle. 

Rigorous screening procedures are conducted for each potential admission to a Methodist Home, and out of an abundance of caution, all new residents are admitted to one specific area of isolation for 14 days. Additionally, all associates proceed through a similar screening upon reporting to work each day. Should an associate be prevented from entry due to illness or become ill, a return is permitted only after that individual meets the criteria set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) return-to-work standards for health care personnel.

Please also note that the regulatory guidance from the federal, state and local agencies continues to evolve. In conjunction with the CDC, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) memorandum issued last night incorporates many of the measures already in practice in our Methodist Homes, but now requires that all associates wear face mask protection while in the facility. This measure is meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from individuals who may have the virus but are unaware and not symptomatic, as very little is understood as to when one infected with COVID-19 becomes contagious.

Significant focus and vigilance remains in place with respect to continual disinfecting of all areas within our communities, and I encourage all of us to utilize these practices in every environment. Additionally, please be reminded of the specific suggestions which have been published by the CDC:
   * Wash your hands often with soap and water (for 15-20 seconds), especially after blowing your nose, sneezing, coughing, using a restroom, or being in common areas; wash your hands after touching surfaces in public areas; avoid touching your face, nose and eyes
   * Residents should stay in their rooms as much as possible
   * Social Distancing practices should be utilized (stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times)
   * Residents should immediately inform staff, if possible, upon the occurrence of any symptoms (residents continue to be closely monitored for any signs or symptoms of illness, including, but not limited to, COVID-19)

Thank you again for your understanding of the fact that we are still unable to permit group activities, inside visitation, or communal dining, at this time. We are glad to be able to provide a safe outdoor space at each community set aside for scheduled resident and family visitation. Check with your administrator about window visits for your loved ones in nursing care areas.

For more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19, see these Public Safety Announcements from the Alabama Department of Public Health, or visit https://alabamapublichealth.cov/covid19.

Protect Yourself & Others 
Link: https://youtu.be/6QE_ZApiXGc
Description: The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Alabama continue to rise, but you have the power to change this. A few simple steps can greatly reduce your chances of being exposed and exposing others to COVID-19.

You are Safer at Home 
Link: https://youtu.be/_EgNr1qjaiM
Description: The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Alabama continue to rise, but you have the power to change this. A few simple steps can greatly reduce your chances of being exposed and exposing others to COVID-19. 

Know the Symptoms 
Link: https://youtu.be/4XER82uaXWI
Description: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first. For testing sites near you, call the Alabama COVID-19 24/7 Hotline at 1-888-264-2256. If you are tested, you should self-isolate and follow quarantine instructions. 

Symptoms? Get Tested! 
Link: https://youtu.be/5O8GWqAJyHI
Description: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first. For testing sites near you, call the Alabama COVID-19 24/7 Hotline at 1-888-264-2256. If you are tested, you should self-isolate and follow quarantine instructions.

FLORIDA CARE COMMUNITIES

(Wesley Haven Villa and Mathison)

Understandably, many questions continue to arise as we navigate these days as a community. First and foremost, the safety and welfare of everyone in a Methodist Home is our highest priority, and each of our decisions as an organization are rooted in that foundational principle. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the State of Florida have established and adopted additional guidelines for long term care communities such as Wesley Haven Villa. These new requirements, among others, are aimed squarely at preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • No visitors except in compassionate care situations such as end-of-life;
  • Eliminate communal dining; Meals will be delivered to your apartment.
  • No group activities;
  • Screen associates, EMS or anyone permitted entry based on specific criteria, which is periodically updated.

Please also note that the regulatory guidance from the federal, state and local agencies continues to evolve. In conjunction with the CDC, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) memorandum issued last night incorporates many of the measures already in practice in our Methodist Homes, but now requires that all associates wear face mask protection while in the facility. This new measure is meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from individuals who may have the virus but are unaware and not symptomatic, as very little is understood as to when one infected with COVID-19 becomes contagious.

Significant focus and vigilance remains in place with respect to continual disinfecting of all areas within our communities, and I encourage all of us to utilize these practices in every environment. Additionally, please be reminded of the specific suggestions which have been published by the CDC:
   * Wash your hands often with soap and water (for 15-20 seconds), especially after blowing your nose, sneezing, coughing, using a restroom, or being in common areas; wash your hands after touching surfaces in public areas; avoid touching your face, nose and eyes
   * Residents should stay in their rooms as much as possible
   * Social Distancing practices should be utilized (stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times)
   * Residents should immediately inform staff, if possible, upon the occurrence of any symptoms (residents continue to be closely monitored for any signs or symptoms of illness, including, but not limited to, COVID-19)

Thank you again for your understanding of the fact that we are still unable to permit group activities, communal dining or inside visitation at this time. We are awaiting outdoor safe visitation guidance from the FDPH, and will communicate plans to families as soon as we have the guidance to do so safely. We continue to understand that connecting with family members is incredibly important, and we will make every effort to facilitate that virtually in any way possible.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING / RESIDENTIAL APARTMENT COMMUNITIES

(Epworth House, Wesley Scott Place, Wesley Apartments, Wesley Park Apartments, Wesley Acres, Wesley Acres II and Wesley Glen)

As I previously stated, the safety and welfare of all residents and associates is of the highest priority for everyone concerned. We are still discouraging visitors and instituting the self-screening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) have established and adopted additional guidelines and recommendations. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and for the protection of all residents, we will follow any recommendations applicable to our facility.

  • No visitors except in compassionate care situations such as end-of-life or supportive services;
  • Residents are encouraged to limit trips out of the community;
  • Residents should avoid groups and gatherings;
  • No group activities may be held in the facility;
  • Anyone entering the building (EMS, supportive services, employees, etc., ) must call the facility to arrange a visit and self-screen under these criteria:
  1. Does the person have a fever equal to or above 100.4 degrees F or cough orshortness of breath or sore throat or respiratory infection? A number of other symptoms have been added as well.
  2. Has the person traveled internationally, or traveled on a cruise ship, orbeen in any airport in the last 14 days?
  3. In the last 14 days, has the person been in close contact (within six feet) with a person or may have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19 who has not tested negative for COVID-19?
  4. Has the person had a confirmed case of COVID-19? If the person who has had a confirmed case of COVID-19 has not had two consecutive negative test results separated by 24 hours after becoming infected, the answer is YES.
  5. In the last 14 days, has the person been in close contact (within six feet) of someone who is under investigation for COVID-19, or with someone who is ill with a respiratory illness?
  6. Has the person been in a community with confirmed spread of COVID-19, as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or a state public health agency?
  7. Does the person reside in a community where community based spread of COVID-19 is occurring?

If the answer to ANY of those questions is YES, then the person is NOT PERMITTED entry into the building. Again, we request your patience and understanding in this process, but must insist that these guidelines are strictly followed.

We request your patience and understanding in this process. For family members and residents, we continue to understand that connecting with each other is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider communicating. These may include telephone, email, text, or through Skype or Facebook.

CDC Factsheet – What you need to know about COVID-19

CDC Handout – Stop The Spread Of Germs

CDC Handout – Guidance for Using Cloth Face Coverings